Windies captain lays down law to teammates

Published: Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's:Brian Lara has warned his teammates that performance and not names will get them selected during his third term as West Indies captain.

Lara, who celebrates his 37th birthday on Tuesday, has been laying down the law to his teammates since last Wednesday, when he was confirmed in the position.

"We are not going to play names anymore," Lara said, after West Indies won back-to-back limited-overs internationals by five wickets and 98 runs on Saturday and Sunday respectively at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

"We are going to play to a plan. We are going to have positions. We going to have requirements to those positions, and it doesn't matter who it is - Tom Browne, Chris Gayle, Runako Morton, or Shivnarine Chanderpaul - it doesn't matter.

"If these positions are being fulfilled in the way that we like these players are going to have the opportunity to continue within the team.

"Right now, we are unsettled in terms of the order, but in our minds we have settled on what the exact positions they need to be, and we are working our way to find the right players in the right position."

Lara also revealed he does not intend to play in all of the limited-overs internationals against the Zimbabweans in keeping with his stated objective of forgoing the shorter games in an effort to prolong his international career.

"I've cut down on the number of ODIs prior to this, so it is a situation where the guys have to learn to play the game," he said.

"They have to take the responsibility and that's part of it. I'm going to have my responsibilities if it is batting at whatever position in the order.

"I still feel though, we are playing with 11 guys. You might have one player who is supposed to be the premier batsman in the team but one of the main things this team is lacking is in-house competition."

Lara wants to create an environment in which there is healthy competition between players to play.

"I want to see someone topple whoever we consider to be best batsman," he said.

"I want to see people competing with him. In my early days in the 1990s, there was Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson, but at the end of any series, I wanted to be counted as the top batsman in that series. That's what has to be created here.

"To say Brian Lara is the premier batsman is something we have to get away from our squad or this guy is indispensable. That's no longer part of this team. This team is going to be played on positions and everybody is going to have an opportunity to fulfil those positions."

Lara also downplayed the decision of the West Indies not to go into the first two matches without an appointed vice-captain.

"I sense that you're going to see another captain on the field before the series is over because I don't think I have intentions of playing all seven," he said.

"By then you would know who the vice-captain is. If you just hold strain a bit, it should not be a great topic at this present time. It will solve itself."

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